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Can I get some advice?

Here's the situation: I will be taking an architectural course in college, I'm now in 12th grade but I decided to just finish this school year and I will be taking a break for the next academic year because of personal issues (I am experiencing depression and anxiety attacks. I'm healing and fighting don't worry). I will be using this time to improve on my health, skills (like practice drawing and learning new stuff), spiritual growth, and all of that sort of stuff. Maybe I'll get a job too or get into business.

I need advice from other people on what I'm going through. Because I feel like I'm lost and unsure with what I plan to do. It would be nice to receive an advice/opinion/suggestion. Thanks!

(To explain further, I'm taking a break from studying because I am being bullied in school by my teachers and students. Yes, including my teachers. For me, this is a very traumatic experience because I don't know why they're doing this to me. I was suicidal but I just put my trust in God and that he will save me from this situation (I also believe in karma) and so I'm keeping a positive mindset and continue making the most out of this life.

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5 answers


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Miranda N.’s Answer

Hey Tzofia, I wish this wasn't the case for either of us, but I understand what you're going through. I have anxiety and depression and honestly...it's hard. But you know that already.

You taking time off for yourself, whether it's a month or a year, is so important. And honestly, I'm amazed you know at your age how to read and respond to your mind so well! Some people will probably discourage you from taking a year off, but nobody knows what you need better than you. Take this time now, or you will be shouldering this trauma all through college--a choice that could lead you back into your worst mindset, and likely would damage your grades and job prospects.

One piece of advice I'll give you: find a friend or family member who either understands mental health issues (e.g. doesn't see it as something wrong with you, understands it has a scientific basis, etc.) and get comfortable talking to them about this. Just having one person you can talk to about your mental health will make your life much easier. A therapist is great too, though I'm not sure how readily available they are in Manila.

Take care of yourself, and know that you are making the right choice!
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Muhammad’s Answer

First of all I am very sorry about your situation. Depression sucks. I know first hand since my dad has suffered from depression his whole life. He is a doctor, an eagle scout....I grew up seeing him as my super hero. But I also later saw him at his worst (when we first immigrated to the US) where he wasn't even able to get out of bed.....much less work. But with the help of therapy, medication & support....he was able to get into teaching. He loves to teach kids & I've seen him be more happy now, than he's ever been.

When I first immigrated to the US, I also struggled a lot. I did not fit in at all with any of the high-school kids. I spent my lunches in the arts room drawing. Most of my teachers had given up on me, since I had no motivation to do HW and would skip 1 day/week. In my senior year, I started to realize that the path I was heading down was only hurting me. I started to focus more on studying and also took on a few art projects. Working on my art projects in lunch helped me to shift my focus from all the negativity, to something that I enjoyed....something that made me think life was worth living. I also made a few friends this way.

One of my teachers said to me once....being an adult means you do the things that suck, to be able to do the things you like.

When I left high-school, I took all the lack-of-belief in my ability as a challenge. I wanted to show the world that I BELIEVED IN MY OWN SELF....so whatever anyone else may say or think.....I can do whatever I put my mind to. I then went to a branch campus of OSU (since I didn't get into main campus due to bad grades). Then I later transferred to OSU. Going to college, I met so many people....people like me who had similar struggles as myself. I realized the world is such a huge place and there's always people that have been in your situation.....you're definitely not alone. I was able to get a fresh start and graduate as a mechanical engineer (which none of my teachers would believe now). I now work for one of the #1 oil companies in the US and have a loving wife.

My number one advice to anybody would be.....BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN ABILITIES. Who cares what people think, say or do.....as long as I know who I am and what I can do......I CAN DO IT. This is true for anyone and everyone.

I know that our mind does or tells us things, that aren't 100% in our control, that's where the experts come in.... like in my dads situation. But I would still say as much as possible......don't let anything shake your belief in your own self.

It's fine you don't know what you're doing yet. The point is YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO WHATEVER YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO. Now you just have to figure out what that thing is.....and that's the easier part.

Idk if any of this may help, but I just want to say you're not alone. The world is huge, there's people who've shared your struggle. You'll be okay!

In terms of a career, I would suggest identifying the things that make you happy. Not just the subject....but also what type of work environment do you want? Do you like working with people? Do you want a role where you make an immediate impact in someone's life? Are you someone that thrives in doing their own thing? How important is being creative? You have to ask yourself these introspective questions before deciding on a final career.

I have a few friends who went into architecture. I also considered it before choosing engineering. Just keep in mind architects serve a customer. It's not a pure arts field, where you have unlimited creativity. The customer will have their vision and objectives. As the architect you have to cater to their needs. Also, architects generally go on to do a masters (most of my architect friends had to.....to be able to start off doing actual architecture).

Hope some of this helped. Good luck!

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Jasmine’s Answer

Hi Tzofiya, to start, I wish I had taken a year in between high school and college - so I'd say it's a great idea. Architecture can be taxing, so taking a breather before you start is a positive way to reset mentally and let yourself wander before getting back to focused.

Jasmine recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer in something you really like/with a religious group
Contact some local architecture firms and see if you can shadow someone who is an architect
Pick up a new skill (painting, coding, crafts, etc) - there are a lot of free, online classes
Pick up a good habit (working out, reading a certain number of books a month...something that will take you to your happy place when you get stressed at college too)
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Amy’s Answer

Some advice as a College graduate and mother of a current college student:

Taking a year off before College to explore will not hinder your overall experience. If you are unsure of what you want to major in once you enter college, spend the first year or so exploring. Your advisors will be a massive help in directing you towards some majors that might be of interest. Kudos to you for recognizing that you need some time off before going to College to focus on your health and yourself. I wish I had done this a bit more myself. It takes maturity and discipline to recognize your own needs, so big kudos to you.

College is completely different from High School when it comes to how others react to you. You will more open-minded, accepting individuals in college. Take this year that you are exploring yourself to put all of the negativity behind you. Use it to build the strong beautiful person you were created to be. Learn to let your sparkle shimmer everywhere you go and find your creativity. Maybe even take some time to job shadow local architects in your area. (a quick email to them after finding them on Linkedin or a website should work to get you in the door).

Keep shining bright and rock your year off!
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Mickael’s Answer

Hi Tzofiya,

Taking a break can, in the final run, save you more than what you spent time on. My son experienced a similar issue, being bullied at school and not being able or afraid of telling us so. We have him add a break from his school for a year. He attended a online school. He also learned karate and other than just the fighting part, he just got more confident in himself. When he was back, we was refreshed and had no issue since (even when dealing with the previous bullies).

So take a break, but a useful break. Find your path. Per your text, you already found God, which is great. Really is. Now make sure you keep close friends and/or family members you can confide with. This will help. Try study on your own something you like. If you want to take architectural course in college, just do it on your own. But I also feel like you should reinforce your oneself. I like Jasmine’s suggestion: In order to get stronger, you need to feel useful. And their is no better task than helping persons in need. And with those current times, there are unfortunately too many of them. And since you got stronger in your faith, just help your community, with a smile.

Everybody that got bullied because of gender, religion, physical and/or mental issues, appearance ... had different way of fighting back. But all succeeded by being themselves. And if you need that year to really find yourself back, take it!

Side notes: "Yes, including my teachers"
Though growing older should give you wisdom which usually teach people acceptance and respect, not everybody get that and stupidity has no age. It's sad to say but it's kind of a reality.

Side notes: "For me, this is a very traumatic experience because I don't know why they're doing this to me."
There is nothing wrong about you but about them! Please remember that.

I really wish you all the best for the future.
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